BEFORE THE FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION

New Hampshire Democratic Party 105 N. State Street Concord, NH 03301
Complainant, v.

Mitt Romney
80 Hayden Ave. Lexington, MA 02421

Romney for President Exploratory Committee Inc. 80 Hayden Ave.

Lexington, MA 02421
Respondents.

COMPLAINT
complainant files this complaint under 2 u.s.c. g a37g(a)(l) against Mitt Romney,
Romney for President Exploratory committee Inc., and any other committees authorized by Mr. Romney to support his presidential candidacy ("Respondents") for violations of the Federal

Election Campaign Act ("Act"), as described below.

A.

FACTS
In the fwo years leading up to his April I I , 20 I I declaration of candidacy for president,

Mr. Romney used "soft money" pACs in five states Alabama, New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan, and South Carolina (collectively, the "State PACs")

- to raise funds in excess of

Federal limits, and spend those funds in support of his nascent presidential candidacy.

According to media accounts, the State PACs raised $1.5 million in 2010.r During the period

see Michel Luo, "Romney, weighing Run, Leans on state PACS," NEw yoRK TIMES (Nov. 20,zl]I)(attached as Exhibit A), available at
.

I

between January 1,2009 and June 30,201 0, the State pACs raised $4g6,700 from just 24

individuals, which, at more than $20,000 per individual, is eight times the per-election limit allowed by the Act.2 These news reports also suggest that donors to the State pACs made these contributions to assist Mr' Romney's presidential campaign,

@

to help candidates in New

Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan, South Carolina, and Alabama. For example, when askecl why he contributed to Mr. Romney's State PACs, Richard Maniott "said he contributed so mueh because
he believes the country could use Romney's business acumen."3 Likewise, another donor to

Mr.

Romney's state PACs, John c. Kennedy, told the Boston Globe, ,,I see everybody else who

I

think is running, and some of the other candidates are also, let's say, likable ... [b]ut ... I
appreciate sitting across the table from someone who at least understands how business works,

how business operates."4
Just as the donors made these five- and six-figure contributions for the purpose assisting

of

Mr' Romney's presidential campaign, Mr. Romney usedthefunds for this illegal

purpose as

well' Mr'

Romney's Alabama PAC, for example, raised more than $440,000 in2010,

but donated only $21 ,500 (less than 5 percent) to state and local candidates in Alabama.s
Instead,

Mr' Romney plowed this money back into his Boston-based operation, to pay for staff ofhis nascent presidential candidacy.6

salaries, consultant fees, and other expenses

Finally, even though Mr. Romney is a declared presidential candidate, subject to the
2

see Jeanne cummings and Andy Barr, "End run: Romney's crafty financing,', polrrrco (Aug. g, 2010) (attached Exhibit B), available or hfp'il."r"*!.o,ltiti",.,...l*/n.,ur/*roli..l j*tbrottz*lii*,. _
1 o-n,

as

;:::j"j:":1'^:,::,1, athuo:/, Exhibit C), available _.*:i"p
4 s

Tik.:

the mosr

olfryding

rutes,,,

BosroN Groar (Apr. I 5, 201 r ) (attached

'

as

Id.
See

Forexample, these funds were lsed to pay key staffers tu.h u. Eric Feirnstrom and Matt Rhodes and consultants such as Beth Myers, Field consulting, and sJZ LLC. se-e cummings and Barr. ,,End run: Romney,s crafty financing,,; Luo, "Romney, Weighing Run, L,eans on State pACs.,'

Luo, "Romney. Weighing Run, Leans on State pACs.,, see cummings and Barr,."End run: Romney's crafty financing" ("the vast majority of the money Romney'sfivestatecommittees...is--actuallyspentto.support...Romney'scampaignapparatus.,,).raised by
6

McCain-Feingold "soft money" ban, the State PACs remain in existence. The efforts by Mr.
Romney and his team to disassociate themselves from the State PACs

- by changing their names - cannot change

and officers in the weeks leading up to Mr. Romney's declaration of candidacy

the fact that Mr. Romney "established" the State pACs and that the State pACs are therefore subject to the Mccain-Feingold ban on raising or spending ,'soft money.,,Z

B.

LEGALARGUMENT

1'

Respondents may have violated the Act's contribution limits by accepting

contributions in excess of $5,000.

Federal law permits presidential candidates to accept $5,000 in "contributions,, from each

individual, with $2,500 designated for the primary election and $2,500 designated for the general election.
,see 2

U.s.c.

g

aala(a)(lXA). Federal law defines a',contribution,,to include

any "gift, subscription, loan .. ' advance, or deposit of money or anything of value made by any

perconfor the purpose of influencing any erectionfor Fecrerar office....,, l
100'52(a) (emphasis added). Therefore,

l c.F.R. $

if donors to Mr. Romney's

State pACs intended for their

contributions to be used to help Mr. Romney's presidential campaign, these contributions would
be subject to Federal limits.

The available evidence suggests that at least some of Mr. Romney,s donors made contributions to the State PACs, in excess of Federal limits, for the purpose of assisting Mr. Romney's presidential campaign. As described earlier in this complaint, there are statements on
the public record suggesting that Mr. Marriott and Mr. Kennedy

-

each of whom made

contributions well in excess of Federal limits

-

contributed to the state pACs for the express

see Exhibit D' on April l, 2011, Mr- Romney's New Hampshire PAC changed its name from ,,Free and strong America PAC 'New Hampshire" to "The Commonwealth PAC New uampstrire.,, on the same aay, etizauetrr Mahoney resigned as PAC-chair (replaced by Kirk Jowers) and Mark sykas?esigned as Treasurer (replaced by Beverly Bruce). See id.,15-17.
7

purpose of assisting

Mr' Romney's presidential campaign. We respectfully request the

Commission to investigate these potential violations of the Act, and to further investigate whether other donors who contributed more than $5,000 to Mr. Romney,s State pACs did so for
the purpose of influencing a Federal election.

2'

Respondents may have violated the Act by accepting excessive in-kind

contributions from Mr. Romney's Federal and state pACs.

In2003, the Commission promulgated several rules to prevent presidential candidates
from using multicandidate PACs to finance their presidential campaigns. These rules prohibit a PAC from providing more than $5,000 in goods and services per election to the Federal
candidate with whom it is associated,. See 2 U.S.C.

aala(a)(l)(A); Leadership pACs, 6g F.R.

67013,67016 (Dec.

l, 2003). These

rules also apply to expenditures made before the

presidential candidate declares his candidacy. For example, certain polling, staffing, and other administrative expenses made by a PAC before the candidate declares his candidacy must be
treated as in-kind contributions or reimbursed by the campaign within 30 days following the

declaration of candidacy. See

il

C.F.R. $ 110.2(l).

The evidence on the public record suggests that Mr. Romney may have used funds from his Federal and State PACs to pay for expenses that should have been paid for by his presidential

campaign' As described earlier in the complaint, Mr. Romney used funds from his Federal and
State PACs to pay his top campaign staffers and consultants. This effort has been taken to such
a

ridiculous extreme that even "starbucks purchases by members of [Mr. Romney,s] political

staffhave been divided up to the penny and apportioned across the array of Romney committees'"8 'We respectfully request the Commission to investigate whether the Exploratory committee must reimburse the Federal and state pACs, pursuant to I I c.F.R. S 110.2(l).

8.See Slack. "Romney makes the most

of funding rules.,,

3'

If the State PACs raised or spent soft money after Mr. Romney declared candidate, Mr. Romney violated the Act.

became a

under the Mccain-Feingold legislation passed by congress in 2002, any entity "established, financed, maintained, qr controlled,,by a Federal candidate is prohibited from raising or spending "soft money" in connection with an election. see

ll

c.F.R.

$$

300'60(d),300.61,300'62. Mr. Romney clearly "established" the State pACs.e Therefore,
regardless of whether he

still "finances, maintains, or controls" the pACs, they became subject to

the "soft money" restrictions as soon as Mr. Romney became presidential a candidate occurred no later than

-

which

April

ll,20Il.

Although Mr. Romney and his campaign have tried to disassociate themselves from the
state PACS in recent weeks, the PACs remain in existence and there has been no indication that they intend to shutter their operations. we respectfully request the commission to investigate whether Mr. Romney's State PACs have raised or spent any ,,soft money,, since Mr. Romney
became a presidential candidate.

If they have, Mr. Romney

has violated Federal law.

C.

REQUESTED ACTION
As we have shown, there is substantial evidence that Respondents have violated the Act

and further investigation is likely to reveal additional violations. we respectfully request the

Commission to investigate these violations, including whether they were knowing and willful.
Should the Commission determine that Respondents have violated the Act, we request that Respondents be enjoined from further violations and be fined the maximum amount.

under the commission's regulations' a person who established an entity can seek an advisory opinion from the commission seeking a determination thal the relationship w_ith the entity tras ueen severed. Such a request must show that "all material connections between the sponsor and the entity have been severed for fwo years.,' I I c.F.R. $ 300.2(c)(axii). To our knowledge. Mr. Romney has not submitted such a requesr.

e

SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this

My Commission Expires: pubflc -- RYAN P. MAHONEY,'Notary MyCommission

Expires Uarc;h tO, aOtS